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Thomas Hecht

“Hecht obviously believes in this music, and plays it with loving care and commitment. He
is more of a poet than a showman…he reveals a tempered, lyrical
approach far removed from the pyrotechnics of Horowitz but equally
engaging in its own right.”          -- Opus Magazine

“Hecht’s very polished reading [of the Copland Sonata] brings out its extremes in contrast—
discordant harmonies, jazzy riffs and deep contemplation in the finale.
 This is as fine as the legendary 1951 William Kappell performance at the Frick Collection, but served with far better sound.”      -- Straits Time, Singapore

American pianist Thomas Hecht was invited to Singapore in 2003 as the Conservatory’s
founding Head of Piano Studies. Over the span of nearly three decades he has
concertized internationally as concerto soloist, recitalist, chamber musician
and as a member of the acclaimed duo-piano team Hecht & Shapiro, winners of
the ARD Munich International Two Piano Competition and USA National Duo Piano
Competition.  He was the former Head of Piano Studies and
Artist-In-Residence at the School of Music at Victoria University in New Zealand
and prior to that served for many years as Professor of Piano and
Artist-In-Residence at the Cleveland Institute of Music (USA).          

Professor Hecht has performed in many of the world's cultural centres,
appearing with leading orchestras such as the New York Philharmonic, Cleveland
Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony, Stuttgart Symphony Orchestra, Bavarian Radio
Orchestra, Johannesburg Festival Orchestra, Singapore Symphony Orchestra,
Artsakh Symphony Orchestra and New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.  Career
highlights include performances at the Lincoln Center in New York, Berlin
Philharmonic Hall, the Kennedy Center in Washington, and solo recitals in
Korea, Japan, China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Italy, Serbia,
Montenegro, Germany, South Africa, and throughout all the major centres of
Australia and New Zealand. He has performed over a dozen different concerti
while living overseas; among the most recent of these was the Asian premiere of
Thomas Ades’ Concerto conciso and
summer performances of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 in Armenia and
Australia and next month at the International Piano Pedagogy Conference in
Taiwan.

                        

Thomas Hecht is a graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory where he won first prize
in the concerto competition and the Kaufmann Award for excellence in chamber
music.  Later he was accepted for graduate studies at the Peabody
Institute as a student of Leon Fleisher, who was so impressed with the young
pianist's abilities that was soon asked to become his mentor’s teaching
assistant, an honor which Fleisher - one of the great pianists of our time -
had never before bestowed on any pianist. 
His merits and many noteworthy achievements were recently celebrated at
Peabody where he was presented with the coveted Young
Maestro Award,
honoring alumni who have distinguished
themselves in their performing careers.



 Dr. Hecht also enjoys a well-deserved
reputation as one of the leading teachers of his generation, having produced a
multitude of first prizewinners in solo and two piano competitions throughout
the United States, Europe and Australasia. He has given master classes at
renowned institutions such as the Royal Academy, Royal Northern and Royal Welsh
Colleges of Music, the Paris, Eastman, Oberlin, Peabody, Sydney, Beijing and
Sichuan Conservatories and the Hong Kong Academy of the Performing Arts. He
served as Visiting Professor at the Peabody Institute under the auspices of the
first YST-Peabody faculty exchange programme, while other guest residency invitations
have included the Conservatoire de Paris, Guildhall College of Music &
Drama the University of Trossingen. His Singaporean protégé, Abigail Sin, was
the first South East Asian pianist to be named a Young Steinway Artist.


 Throughout his career he has represented
USA, New Zealand and Singapore on jury panels of the Gina Bachauer, Geneva,
Isangyun, Ibiza and Paralympic International Piano Competitions in addition to
the national piano competitions of Japan, Thailand, Australia and South Africa.
He receives regular invitations to summer piano festivals, including
performances in Sydney, Beijing, Wellington, Lausanne, Chethams, Washington,
Taichung, Amalfi, Bavaria, Artsakh and Brasov (where he is Honorary Professor
of Piano at the University of Transylvania), and continues to be in demand for
workshops and pedagogy conferences throughout the world. Thomas Hecht is a
Steinway Artist and records for the Azica, Elysium and Atoll labels.